US diplomatic chief Antony Blinken said on Friday that tensions with China were easing but expressed renewed concern over Taiwan.
Questioned during a debate at the University of Chicago about whether the temperature had dropped with the Asian giant, he replied: "I think so, because when you argue, when you compromise, it tends to have that effect.".
"The rest of the world expects us to handle this relationship responsibly."he continued, because other countries "They know that it affects them too.".
Blinken will travel to Beijing from February 5-6, according to a US official, the first such trip to China since that of his Republican predecessor Mike Pompeo in 2018.
The trip was agreed on the sidelines of a November summit in Indonesia between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
But Blinken expressed concern about Taiwan, citing Beijing’s attempts to isolate the island – considered part of its territory by Chinese officials – and a series of military maneuvers.
"What we have seen in recent years is, I think, that China has decided that it is no longer comfortable with the status quo." on the island, he said.
"You (China) say that this is a question of their sovereignty, we say that it is directly about the United States and the rest of the world"citing Taiwan’s crucial role in the world economy with its role in semiconductor manufacturing.
Blinken was in Chicago (north) on Friday, where he met with members of the Ukrainian community.